Professor KC Johnson has a piece in John Leo's Minding the Campus called More Advice on Railroading Males in Sex Cases. He notes that the Association of Title IX Administrators is “[s]eeking to build off the momentum from the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter” by holding a four-day training session “devoted to how to implement new, guilt-presuming sexual assault standards.”
If you think that’s too harsh, read on:
When colleges and universities use the "adversarial process" to deal with such complaints, the Association laments, ‘Justice is rarely done. Truth remains elusive.’ (Perhaps we should simply shut down the court system, as well.) . . . . [A]ccording to the Association's training guide, colleges need to use a ‘civil rights investigation model for addressing campus sexual misconduct’--which has the advantage, for those interested in overriding due process concerns, that it is ‘not police-led investigation, and it is not the same as investigating a student conduct violation.’The topics make clear the one-sidedness of the session's agenda. (In addition to administrators, the Association invites "prosecutors, sex crimes investigators, magistrates, victim advocates and judges"--but not defense attorneys or civil liberties advocates.) Topics on how colleges should respond to sexual assault/harassment claims include such issues as ‘due process myopia’ and ‘is a hearing necessary?’ The list of ‘experts’ invited to train campus administrators includes Brett Sokolow, who rivals the notorious Wendy Murphy in the almost cheerful willingness with which he presumes guilt in sexual assault cases. As FIRE's Will Creeley has correctly noted, Sokolow has exhibited a ‘disdain for due process [that] echoes the worst instincts of the angry mob.’
Our college campuses are notoriously inhospitable places for men when it comes to sex claims. We’ve written about the “Dear Colleague” letter numerous times. Some of our more recent pieces you might have missed: Barbaric: It is 'worth the risk' to punish innocent college men in order to nab more sex offenders and Jon McCay's perilous defense of the 'Dear Colleague' letter: he refuses to acknowledge the risk of getting it wrong and It is a moral imperative that colleges (1) support the accuser who was likely sexually assaulted, and (2) protect the presumptively innocent unless it is clear he is guilty: Princeton proves it is possible to do both.
We have also chronicled how colleges are expanding their definitions of sexual abuse to include sex acts that are, by any rational measure, consensual: The Legal Infirmities in Punishing Sexual Coercion.
Our college campuses are ground zero for the work we do here, and Prof. Johnson’s warning bell should be taken very seriously.